Mary Smith, the new health technician, arrived at Foothill last year towards the end of May. For Foothill students, the month of May is a month of madness—finals, cramming sessions and a bad case of summer fever. The nursing office feels the same effects.
With so much to do, Smith got to work assisting the nurse with organizing and working out the incoming students’ health-related paperwork. However, she’s back and ready for a year.
“I love Foothill, it’s such a great school,” Smith said. “The students are amazing—they seem very kind and well-adjusted and very welcoming—from the minute I got here people have been great, the staff is great too. It’s wonderful.”
Before coming to Foothill, Smith worked at Lincoln Elementary School for close to 19 years as a health technician but also participated in different roles around campus—an assistant librarian, after-school program attendance and working with Jumpstart children outside of school.
“Like an assistant position where I was a librarian, I did after school program attendance and I was doing other jobs outside of the school, so like with the little Jumpstart children.”
When the position became available at Foothill, Smith had been working at El Camino for three hours a week. The position at Foothill offered eight hours per day with full paid benefits and Smith has been paying for her own health benefits for “many years.”
Throughout the week, she works about six hours a day at Foothill and two hours a day at El Camino.
Before she decided to become a health technician, she thought she was going to be a teacher.
“I taught preschool when I was first out of high school, and then I was going to be a nurse and so I started going that direction,” Smith said.
Though, plans changed when she met her husband. She knew she wanted to be a stay-at-home mom, “for at least during the time that our kids were younger and he wanted that as well,” Smith said.
Now that she has three kids and grandchildren, “the rest is history.”
When she came back into the workforce, she decided to pursue being a health technician.
As a health technician, her role on campus is “mostly health, it’s assisting the nurse and anything she needs, also assisting the students with any special needs they might have and then that trickles into paperwork,” Smith said.
If you’re a Foothill student, an important thing to keep in mind is that she’s also here to help students with health-related needs: physical, mental or emotional.
High school is a lot different than elementary school, recess was a time for tripping, falling and toothaches—which ultimately led to a visit to the nursing office.
“I’m very nurturing and I love doing that and when I was at the elementary school it was like being a mom,” but now, high school students “don’t need us to hold your hand or ask you where you got hurt.”
No matter the age of the student, her motherly nature is present and she’s always there to help.
Smith is going into the year with a positive and excited attitude because just like for students, “you’re going to get out of it what you put into it.”